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Images: Norm Dances To The Beat Of Outward Bound

July 2005


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Norm Hewit and the team at Outward Bound.

Dancing with the Stars winner Norm Hewitt is hoping to pass on more than just dancing tips, as he gets behind a campaign to raise public awareness and support of the work being done by not-for-profit organisation Outward Bound.

Norm joins a number of other high profile New Zealanders who have all completed Outward Bound courses including: media personality Maggie Barry; paralympian adventurer Mark Inglis; celebrity Pieta Keating; BMX athlete Alice Rika and; media personality Kelly Swanson-Roe.

All are aware of the important role the organisation plays in helping people to unlock their full potential and rediscover themselves. To help support the campaign, the celebrities have passed on their top five tips for unlocking a person's full potential.

For Norm who completed an Outward Bound course some years ago, the experience has had a profound impact on his life.

He initially approached Outward Bound after seeing a promotional poster for the organisation which featured an athlete who had not completed a course.

"I didn't agree with someone fronting a campaign who hadn't even experienced what it was like to do a course. So, I asked Outward Bound if I could do a course so that I could then speak from the heart and really support them in what they where trying to achieve."

When it came to doing a course, Norm said he didn't know what to expect.

"I had visions of it being a 'tree-hugging-type' environment and was hell bent on beating everybody in whatever outdoor activity was involved," he said.

"The reality of the course was completely different to what I was expecting. I was with a very diverse group of people and, in the end, the real challenge for me was to work out that I needed to slow down and operate as part of a team."

It was during his Outward Bound experience that Norm confronted one of the biggest decisions for him at the time - whether or not to get married.

"I had to really think about what it meant to be married - the hard and 'awesome' times that were potentially ahead of me and the responsibility of being a husband and a father," he said.

"In the end, I completed the course clear in my mind that I was indeed ready for marriage and the responsibilities that brought with it."

Norm also stayed true to his word and has supported Outward Bound by becoming an Outward Bound Ambassador and acting as a cultural adviser to the organisation.

He was instrumental in facilitating discussions between staff members at the Outward Bound school at Anakiwa and the local Te Atiawa Iwi. This later led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the school and Iwi. Norm is still actively involved in his Ambassador role, using his background to support the instructors in their work with students and advising staff on cultural issues.

Beyond that, Norm is a firm believer that it should be compulsory for all year 13 students to attend Outward Bound.

"There's a bit of a misconception out there that Outward Bound is for certain sectors of society - it's not. Outward Bound reaches everybody - young, old, physically disabled, troubled youths and the straight A students."

Outward Bound chief executive officer, Trevor Taylor, said Norm's experience and commitment to Outward Bound is greatly appreciated by the organisation and the students that he comes into contact with..

"The positive impact Outward Bound has had on Norm, is typical of that experienced by the over 45,000 people who have completed courses to date."

However, he said it is only through the ongoing support of the Trust by such New Zealanders and altruistic organisations that Outward Bound is able to play such a vital role in the community.

"Initiatives like the Outward Bound cereal launched by Hubbard's 10 years ago have played a key part in providing much needed funds to the Trust. Last year, Hubbard's raised over $1 million in sponsorship funds for the Trust over a nine year period," he said.

And, to mark that 10 year milestone, Hubbard's has gone a step further in launching two new Outward Bound flavours - Berry, and Sultana and Nut - to provide greater variety and thereby making it easier for people to continue to support the Trust.

"All those years ago when the relationship was put in place, the Trust never realised what a big part simply eating a breakfast cereal could play in funding the organisation."

Trevor said the sponsorship funds have provided valuable support to the Trust, through course scholarships to help people from all walks of life to complete Outward Bound courses. Funds have also been used to buy equipment such as kayaks and a truck to transport students.

Money aside, he said he never stops enjoying seeing the transformation in people like Norm after they have completed an Outward Bound course.

"It never fails to amaze me. Outward Bound is just one of those unique experiences that can't be conveyed in words. It really needs to be experienced by a person in order for them to truly understand the positive impact it can have on their lives."

- ends -

Norm's Top Tips for Unlocking your Full Potential

* Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone instead view it as an opportunity to shine.

* Always be prepared and ready to work as part of a team.

* Remember that every goal is achievable through sheer hard work.

* Regularly re-evaluate your goals and set new ones.

* Celebrate your achievements but keep your eyes firmly focussed on the next milestone.

Alice Rika

New Zealand BMX athlete

Named 2004 BMX NZ Sportswoman of the year

* Decisions are those funny things, that at times are hard to make but need to be made.

* Pain is only a weakness leaving the body.

* Beware of what may lie around the corner.

* Grab every opportunity that is put on your plate, you never know what might become of it.

* Be humble and gracious but be focussed and determined.

Maggie Barry

* Never be self limiting in what you think you are capable of: don't underestimate yourself: be confident and always aim high.

* When you think you're running on empty you've still got a quarter of a tank in reserve so keep pushing yourself.

* "Don't dream it, be it": you're a long time under the lid.

* When it comes to life's challenges: go hard.

* Be true to yourself and respect yourself and others.

* Keep your sense of humour handy at all times and don't take yourself or any obstacles too seriously: don't be afraid to have a laugh and lighten up.

Mark Inglis

* Dream big, size does matter. Attempt the thing that scares you most and once you eventually nail it dream bigger again!

* Know the difference between 'can't' and 'won't', remove the 'fences' from your thinking.

* When life gets tough, 'be in the moment', just get on with it.

* Don't live life by chance, CHOICE determines our life path. If you don't like where you are, change it!

* There are no obstacles in life, no stumbling blocks, they are just cleverly disguised stepping stones and opportunities to excel at life.

Pieta Keating

* Learn to trust yourself - you are fundamentally in control of yourself and your actions - and others will in turn trust you.

* Have integrity and stay true to your word, honesty is gold.

* Be brave and don't be afraid to be a little tenacious, if you truly believe in yourself.

* Always stay compassionate. At the end of the day, people are human beings.

* Jump in, have fun and take risks. If you fall flat on your face laugh it off - it's one less mistake you'll make again.

Kelly Swanson-Roe

Whenever I doubt myself, am low in confidence or simply lacking motivation, I look inwards and ask the following questions:

* Is there growth in sitting safely in my warm comfortable corner of the room?

* Do I have a moral obligation to do the best I can and achieve my full potential? Or, have I simply been put on this earth to fill up space?

* Are other people's opinions any of my business?

* When I'm sitting in my rocking chair at age 85, will I look back over my life with regret? Will I think, "Man I wish I'd given that a go"?

* A very wise soul once told me: "No matter where you are, how you got there or what you lost along the way, always think to yourself. I can still win from here."


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